[fixed names; thanks, h.]
The Principle Improvement
Their “before” slidedecks are dense with information. Their “before” slidedecks function as effective summaries of their lectures, which is a trait shared by absolutely every lousy slidedeck ever.
Their “after” slidedecks are image-heavy and information-light. They’re simply projecting images – no effects, no animation, no bullets – and, though we can debate the appropriateness of the images and the value they add to the lecture, no longer are Bariexca or Wildeboer trying to corral their entire talk within a 640×480 screen, which is death.
I Pity Them
But I pity these boys. I can predict their descent into madness ’cause I’m living it daily.
First, they’ll grow bored of punching keywords into FlickrCC. They’ll start searching out primary sources: satellite images, images from AP, Reuters, and Google searches.
Then they’ll start noticing extensions to their classroom content in the world around them and start snapping their own photos, creating their own Venn diagrams, building hyper-relevant discussions around those images.
Then these parasites will move to moving pictures, downloading clips from YouTube, from TV shows, building discussions around video.
Then, when they start bumping against that ceiling, they’ll make video content themselves and, from there, they’re properly screwed.
The Critical Question
But why use images at all?
What value does a submerged scuba diver add to Wildeboer’s discussion of the Earth’s crust? What value does a vampiric Hasidic Jew add to Damian’s discussion of anti-Semitism
To some extent, their images merely season lectures which already tasted fine. Now that they’ve pushed past bullet points, it’s time for them find images which entertain and engage.
For My Part
Though I haven’t found the end of this rabbit-hole, I know I wouldn’t be half the teacher without this ability to put any image I want in front of my students.
Like today, discussing similar figures and scale-drawn maps, we hunted the Meyer family treasure across San Francisco’s financial district using some stitched-together Google Maps:
A student came in late and I caught him up by shuffling back through the slidedeck, getting him started, all with a wireless remote, all from his desk.
Afterwards I asked myself, how did this happen before?, and I couldn’t say.